Root of the Matter

  Tonight I am doing a program at Secrest Arboretum in the Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture series for arborist certification. We will be learning together about “Tree Biology”, so let’s remind ourselves – and teach others – about “the root of the matter.”  Here are four maxims about the critical, but often overlooked by many, key to plant health: roots.
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Authors
Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs
Erik Draper

Flowerosophy

  Flowers are, of course, wondrous, the birds and the bees and all that, the pollen grain germinating on the receptive stigma with the pollen tube then delivering sperm nuclei to the ovules below, with the thus fertilized eggs becoming seeds surrounded by the ovary ripening into the fruit. Flowers may be inconspicuous, but they may also may be beauteous; here are a few captured by camera this past week
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Jim Chatfield

Perennial of the Week: Ironweed

Here at the Medina Extension Office, we have Ironweed (Vernonia spp.) planted among other native and annual flowers outside.  And every year people visit our office just to ask, "What is that giant purple flower!?"  Its purple flowers are quite an eye catcher and, despite having "weed" in its name, ironweed's late blooms in summer to fall and brilliant color make it an attractive native wildflower for many gardeners.

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Ashley Kulhanek

Diagnostics: Who Knows Most About the Plants?

  On Vesey Street in downtown Manhattan, between the 9/11 memorials and the Irish Hunger Memorial along the Hudson River, is a row of Chinese elms in a streetscape. Recently, as I was walking there I noticed two of the elms with thinning foliage, and for that matter they were set apart by big-time protective railings and stakings and alone among the row, Treegators, extra factors that turned out to be mostly non-sequiturs, but did initially catch my eye.
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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Fall Forecast II

  Earlier this week Extensioneer Erik Draper featured poison ivy foliar coloration as a Harbinger of Autumn (http://bygl.osu.edu/node/567). As we approach September 22 and the Autumnal Equinox, here are a few more visuals of the changing of the guard.
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Jim Chatfield

Tree of the Week: Swamp White Oak

I was recently in New York City, 15 years after the 9/11 tragedy, and was reminded of that day. We were on our BYGL call back here in Ohio and Dave Dyke of OSUE, Hamilton County broke into a plant report with news that a plane, possibly a small plane had flown into the World Trade Center. We took it in and continued our reports.

 

  Minutes later he burst in that another plane had hit the other tower and that these were large passenger planes. Now we knew something was terribly wrong and yet, like many people, we tried to continue with our scheduled activities for a while....

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Shrub of the Week: Comptonia (Sweetfern)

 This plant is not a fern. Rather, Sweetfern is a native woody shrub. According to E. Lucy Braun (The Woody Plants of Ohio), it is only found in a few counties in Ohio where it inhabits open oak forests, pastures, and roadsides. This plant fits into the category of small shrubs that many homeowners are looking for, maturing at a height of 2-4’.
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Jim Chatfield